Lesson 2: Why does the songbird sing??

Topic: Bird Songs vs Calls Theme: A bird species’ song and calls have different characteristics and serve different purposes to enhance survival and reproduction.

Lesson 3: Wait… birds have dance battles??

Topic: Courtship Rituals and Mating Displays Theme: The courtship rituals and mating displays of birds are not only entertaining, but also teach us how natural selection can produce unique behaviors and physical features.

Lesson 4: How does one make a nest??

Topic: Bird Nesting and the Nest Cycle Themes: Nests are important structures for young survival. Nest types and materials vary widely depending on species and habitat.

Lesson 5: How is reproductive success measured??

Topic: MRBO Nest Monitoring Project Themes: One way we can measure reproductive success is by measuring nesting success. We can use long-term nest monitoring data to see how specific factors may increase or decrease nest success.

Nest Success – MRBO determines a successful nest to be a nest that has completed the full nesting cycle through the fledging stage. Another way to state this would be to say that a successful nest is one for which at least one young bird fledges (or leaves the nest).

Data – Factual information (such as measurements or statistics) used as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or calculation.

Methodology – A particular procedure or set of procedures. The methodology employed in an experiment is essential to its success, and bad methodology has spoiled thousands of research projects. So, whenever a piece of research is published in a scientific or medical journal, the researchers always carefully describe their methodology; otherwise, other scientists couldn’t possibly judge the quality of what they’ve done.

Sample Size – Sample size is a count the of individual samples or observations in any statistical setting. For example, in the MRBO nest monitoring study there is currently a sample size of 667 nests. Though a relatively straightforward concept, choice of sample size is a critical determination for a project. Too small a sample yields unreliable results, while an overly large sample demands a good deal of time and resources.

Target Species – Target species are species or species groups specifically chosen for long-term monitoring studies. The target species are chosen based on the goals of the study.